Dassault Aviation to establish MRO facility near Jewar Airport

French aviation giant Dassault Aviation SA is acquiring land near Jewar International Airport to set up a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility for India’s Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters, according to sources quoted by Hindustan Times. This move aims to facilitate local manufacturing of the latest Rafale versions, fulfilling the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) long-term requirement of approximately 100 twin-engine multi-role fighters over the next two decades.

The commitment to manufacture Rafale fighters in India under the “Make in India” initiative remains steadfast despite political changes in France. Dassault Aviation, supported by the Emmanuel Macron government, plans to use locally sourced components to meet the IAF’s demand. Additionally, Safran SA, the engine maker, is planning to set up an MRO facility for Rafale engines in Hyderabad, expected to be operational by 2025. Safran has also expressed readiness to manufacture M-88 engines in India, contingent on substantial orders from the IAF.

The IAF currently operates 36 Rafale fighters equipped with Hammer and SCALP missiles. The Indian Navy is also negotiating the purchase of 26 Maritime Strike Rafales for the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier. India already has base maintenance depots, repair facilities, training, and simulators for Rafales at its Ambala air base.

Considering the long gestation period for fighter jets and engines, the Modi government has taken reassurance from France’s stable licensing policy, ensuring a reliable supply chain. France has been a consistent supplier of aircraft to India since 1953.

Additionally, Safran is prepared to enter a joint venture with an Indian company to manufacture engines for Indian Multi-Role Helicopters (IMRH), ensuring India’s self-sufficiency in urgent supplies.

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